"Celebrating now!" read the text from Paul Reilly, who just inked a deal to take over Olivéa, Stephanie Bonin and Keith Arnold's beloved New American restaurant, which the couple, along with exec chef John Broening and pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom (the betrothed twosome now own Spuntino), opened three-and-a-half years ago in Uptown. Bonin and Arnold, who also own Duo, closed Olivéa after a final dinner service last night.
See also: - Paul Reilly walks away from Cherokee on 12th Avenue -- but not Beast + Bottle - Olivea, one of Denver's top restaurants, is closing in mid-January - Udi's Colfax Pizza Bar taking over the former Encore space
Reilly, the former chef-owner of Encore, which shuttered last April in the Lowenstein Cultureplex and will soon become an Udi's Colfax Pizza Bar, had originally signed a lease on the (still vacant) Cherokee on 12th Avenue plot, in the Golden Triangle, but the deal fell through just after Thanksgiving, explained Reilly, because it required too much work. "Considering everything we wanted to do to renovate it to where it needed to be, we just couldn't justify how much it was going to cost," he told me last month.
But while he has a new space, the approach will remain the same, says Reilly: an accessible nose-to-tail restaurant focusing on the whole beast and the foods that most inspire him; his sister, grape guru and general manager, Aileen, will design the wine program.
The ink is still wet on the deal, its sale the result of Bonin and Arnold moving back to the East Coast, where they're both from. (Duo, however, will stay open.) And while Reilly tells me he has "no idea" when he and Aileen will unleash Beast + Bottle -- early spring is likely -- it's guaranteed to be one of the most anticipated openings of 2013.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.